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Beauvais Missal – Virtual Reconstruction

Parchment · 109 leaves (of 309) · 1270 – 1300 CE · Beauvais · 290 x 204 mm


[sine loco], codices restituti, various
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Duschnes, Philip C (Fragmentator)
Ege, Otto F. (Fragmentator)
Hearst, William Randolph (Previous Owner)

The Beauvais Missal is one of the best-known victims of mid-twentieth-century American biblioclasm, serving as a perfect example of just how great a loss is incurred when a codex is dismembered and its leaves scattered. The manuscript was written in or near Beauvais, France, in the last quarter of the thirteenth century and was used early on at the cathedral there, as evidenced by an inscription on a lost leaf, transcribed in a 1926 Sotheby’s auction catalogue. Peter Kidd recently discovered that the manuscript was purchased from Sotheby’s by American industrialist William Randolph Hearst, who owned it until 1942 when he sold it through Gimbel Brothers to New York dealer Philip Duschnes, who cut it up and began selling leaves less than one month later. He passed the remnants on to Otto Ege, who scattered it through his usual means, by gift or sale. Leaves of the Beauvais Missal are no. 15 in Ege's "Fifty Original Leaves of Medieval Manuscripts" portfolio.

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Easter season: votive Masses for the Holy Cross and for the Virgin Mary

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